Friday, August 22, 2014

Compression and Expansion

Rebecca Solnit, in The Faraway Nearby writes:  "The bigness of the world is redemption.  Despair compresses you into a small  space and a depression is literally a hollow in the ground.  To dig deeper into the self, to go underground, is sometimes necessary, but so is the other route of getting out of yourself, into the larger world, into the openness in which you need not clutch your story and your troubles so tightly to your chest"  (p. 30).  As is apt to happen, my story has caught up with me.  As is apt to happen, I am working my way back to the larger world so I can thrust this story from my hands and into the ether, because it does me no good to cling to.

I've been moving through the world as openly as I can in the past months; I've taken in; I've offered out.  And now?  I'm finally hitting that space where I realize that I might need a bit more incubation before taking on anything else, but "everything else" is heading my way.  I continue to carve spaces for kindness and unconditional love to etch themselves into my core--dreaming of rivulets in my psyche…one drop at a time carving careful canyons through me.  I've found I've cultivated a good amount of gentleness with self, and I am working on extending this same gentleness into situations that are proving more challenging emotionally and spiritually.  Always, always, always:  returning to intention and practice.

I traveled by ferry last weekend to a yoga workshop on the heels of a challenging week, and I was looking to quiet a nervous system that had taken in a bit too much…and I recognized, only after the first evening of practice, that I had tucked every bit of stress I've been feeling into my shoulders and back--such a clear physical manifestation of stress and the interconnectedness of mind and body…and such a clear reminder that I needed to acknowledge, that, despite the awesome photographs, the gorgeous scenery, and fun lessons learned, that the past few months have not been easy.  Sometimes the most worthwhile things in life are just plain exhausting.

I have been toying with the idea of expanding my existence to allow space for a partner.  I have not met this person, necessarily, but I am recognizing that for the first time in a long long time, this might be something I'm interested in:  "Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone"--Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed, p. 91).  But this in itself is a pandora's box of trouble that I'm uncertain I want to open.  e.e. cummings writes:  "Be of love (a little)/ more careful/ than of everything.